The journey made by NASA’s next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on Tuesday night is the last major preparation before the flight into space, which is scheduled for August 29. During Tuesday’s trip, the SLS megarocket moved at a snail’s pace from the Vehicle Assembly Building of the Kennedy Space Center to Launch Pad 39B, covering the 6.4-kilometer route in just under 10 hours. Now the SLS rocket is installed on the launch pad, engineers and technicians will be setting up the systems for the long-awaited launch in less than two weeks.
The 100-meter NASA rocket was transported to the launch pad using a giant tracked vehicle with a low landing called Crawler Transporter-2. A flint-looking car the size of a baseball field develops a maximum speed of only 1.6 km/h.
Of course, not everyone could watch the process of the slow movement of the rocket to its destination. Therefore, the developer of the Orion spacecraft, Boeing, published a frame-by-frame video compressing the 10-hour journey of the SLS to just 25 seconds.
SLS and Orion Flight
NASA’s Artemis I mission without a crew on August 29 will be the first all-encompassing test of the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The spacecraft will fly around the Moon before returning to Earth as part of a mission that will last 42 days. If all goes well, the Artemis II mission will follow the same route, but with a crew on board. The Artemis III flight may take place as early as 2025 and will bring the first woman and the first African-American to the surface of the Moon.
Unlike the Apollo missions that brought the first humans to the Moon 50 years ago, NASA’s Artemis program aims to create a long-term lunar base from which astronauts can explore new parts of the Moon, with a long-term plan to use Earth’s nearest neighbor as a stepping stone for the first mission.
Earlier, we reported on how NASA published a close-up video test of the SLS rocket engines.
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